Did you know that this blog turned 6 years old this week? Six years! I can't believe I even have a blog, much less have had one for so long, not to mention the fact that sometimes I think about how young I was when I started this thing and shudder. (Kids! beware the internets, lest one of your coworkers come into work one day and tell you that their wife found your blog and read the deep thoughts of your early twenties!)
This blog has certainly changed over the years, after all I no longer have time to spend an entire month making different kinds of homemade ice creams. I decided long ago that I wouldn't feel bad for not always posting regularly here, that this wasn't my job or an obligation. But the truth is, I'm often happier when I'm posting here, when I'm cooking and taking pictures and nerding-out by scouring Algerian cooking sites for all the different versions of shakshouka or couscous. It means that I've carved out a little time each day to do things that I love, read poems, chop vegetables, listen to podcasts, taste new things, see things through a different lens.
I've thought a lot recently about the fact that some of the posts on here are difficult or awkward to read. Someone asked me for my biscuit recipe the other day and I pulled it up to find, with some amount of horror, that it was a post about sitting in the chemo room with my mom. It feels awkward to refer someone to a simple recipe while throwing them an emotional hit-and-run. But then I thought about my mom's iPhone, and how she had bookmarked the page where I talked about her first diagnosis, and how she would bring it up while waiting in doctor's office's specifically to read all the wonderful supportive comments YOU, dear readers, left for me and for her. I never thanked you for that.
So, ultimately, this blog isn't just about recipes but about the journeys we all take through the lens of the kitchen. Which means that sometimes a post about bread or about veal is really about something much more. In fact some of my favorite posts on here barely contain recipes at all (like this and this). But since we're celebrating our anniversary together, I'll leave you with a few of the most popular posts on this blog, along with a cookie recipe for the holidays.
Hummus, Cupcakes, Umm Ali, Pink Grapefruit Marmalade, Duck with Apples
Brown Sugar Cookies
This is a simple sugar cookie recipe tweaked with the use of brown sugar and spices. Much like my favorite molasses-ginger cookie, it's great for this time of year. I think these cookies are best when underdone and soft. They are great for ice cream sandwiches which, in my opinion, is one of the best cookie distinctions there is.
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the wet mixture, stirring to combine.
3. Trop teaspoonfuls of the dough into greased or lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until tops are just set and insides are still moist, about 8-9 minutes. Let cool on a rack.